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Presence-Centered Youth Ministry: Guiding Students into Spiritual Formation Paperback – August 29, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Books (August 29, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830833838
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830833832
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #212,898 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Wow. Talk about stirring the pot! Mike King gets way out on some beautiful and truthful thin ice, naming many of the closely held wrong assumptions and faulty practices of modern youth ministry. Then he crosses to the other side of this thin ice, and suggests a path forward. Congrats to Mike, and to anyone willing to thoughtfully consider the ideas in this book!" (Mark Oestreicher, president, Youth Specialties)

"Mike King has started a conversation that's long overdue and frequently ignored in youth ministry circles. In this thoughtful book he tells his own story with humble vulnerability, exposes the sacred cows we've let graze for far too long on the youth ministry landscape, and helps us see that ministry isn't about facilitating and teaching outward behavorial conformity. I'm sure this book will make many uncomfortable because of its subject and recommendations. Pick it up. Don't put it down. Prayerfully wrestle with Mike and his message. Keep reading. This book just might take you out of your comfort zone, but that's right where many of us need to be led in order to be able to carefully and faithfully lead young people into the life-changing presence of God." (Walt Mueller, Center for Parent/Youth Understanding and author of Engaging the Soul of Youth Culture)

"Make no mistake: Presence-Centered Youth Ministry is about God's presence, not ours--which right away puts Mike King's approach to youth ministry in a class of its own. King transcends 'liberal/conservative' stereotypes by putting ancient spiritual practices at the heart of our ministry with young people--practices that center us in the presence of God. If you're not won by the teenagers you meet in these pages, you'll be won by the glimpses of how King's own ministry helps youth 'practice the presence of God.' If Brother Lawrence had been a youth pastor, this book would have been his favorite resource." (Kenda Creasy Dean, parent, pastor, associate professor of youth, church and culture, Princeton Theological Seminary, and author of Practicing Passion: Youth and the Quest for a Passionate Church)

"With Presence-Centered Youth Ministry, Mike King has given us a road map to the tectonic shift underway in student ministry. At turns personal, challenging, testimonial and prophetic, this book will surely capture the hearts of many youth workers. Mike speaks from experience, yet with humility, and he is truly setting the course for a new day in youth ministry." (Tony Jones, National Coordinator of Emergent-U.S. (www.emergentvillage.com), and editor of You Converted Me: The Confessions of St. Augustine)

From the Publisher

Features & Benefits

* Full of great ideas for large group and individual disciplines

* Written by a thirty-year veteran of youth ministry who's "been there" and "done all that"

* Creative, honest and pragmatic

* Encourages spiritual growth of both students and ministers


More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jason Deuman on July 21, 2007
Format: Paperback
Mike King is a long time youth worker who brings 30 years of experience to this book. He shares his stories and frustrations with the way youth ministry has been run for year. And as he grew in maturity he began to boil down youth ministry to what he felt was most important - - Jesus.

This book does a great job of getting the focus back on Jesus and making sure that first and foremost the youth leader is connected to Jesus heart. The students will follow as we become more and more in love with Jesus. King proposes many practices that would be viewed as controversial in many protestant communities but in truth many of these practices are timeless and can really strengthen your faith.

I think this book is valuable for youth leaders because King challenges us to tend to our hearts first. Also, King reminds us that the true success of any youth ministry is not how many students show up to your wednesday night program. Rather, the true measuring stick is how many of those students are connected to Jesus and the church 30 years down the road. To do this youth leaders need to think long term and we need to equip and encourage students to seek Jesus on their own. You can have the flash and bells and whistles in your program but you just better be sure that that's not all you have.

Great read I highly recommend it to any youth leader and to pastors in general.

jasondeuman.com
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By MEL on June 19, 2007
Format: Paperback
"Presence-centered Youth Ministry" tells an engaging story of the extremes and challenges of youth ministry over the years, and invites readers to approach teenagers in a more honest and effective way. Mike King's honesty in telling his own story is inspiring. He then moves on to specific practices for youth workers to engage in both individually and with their students. He reminds the reader of the meaning and depth of many Christian rituals and traditions that are often looked past, and I have found these practices effective both for myself and my students.

I gave this book to each of my committed volunteer youth workers and continually refer back to it for assistance in real youth ministry. King is a brilliant story teller and a great guide for youth workers.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Shay on January 12, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mike does an excellent job of helping youth workers understand the need for presence-centered youth ministry as well as giving practical tips for beginning. As someone who has moved from typical program-centered youth ministry to presence-centered youth ministry in the last few years, I found this book to be helpful when talking with church leaders and encouraging when faced with struggles.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Zach on January 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
Presently within YM, Presence-Centered Youth Ministry is a great book that will engage the young people of the America church. Mike King serves as President of YouthFront, a Youth Ministry organization. YouthFront works to bring youth into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ by creating environments where spiritual transformation occurs, by working with those who are involved in the spiritual formation of youth and by providing church-assisting events. King's youth ministry experience and expertise is highly evident in Presence-Centered Youth Ministry.

King in chapters 1-3 describes why youth ministry is experiencing much hardship. King argues that youth ministry is playing it too safe and comfortable. He states: The call to follow this true God is not safe or convenient, unlike much of the feel-good, carefree god-think being modeled to our young people today. The present of Jesus in the lives of adolescents who are nurtured by the power of Scripture is not safe, but it's the essence of presence-centered youth ministry. (47)

King argues in chapters 4-7 what youth pastors and youth ministries need to be in order for their youth ministry to become presence-centered. Youth ministry is about being with youth, not just as a role model or friend but also as a spiritual guide and a traveling companion. (6 8) There needs to be a new way of doing youth ministry--a youth ministry that experiences and embodies the presence of God. King suggests that when student sense a polished performance and impeccable image, students are immediately turned off. Research reminds us that students are suspicious of bigness, of advertising and ego trips. They want churches to be down to earth and unpretentious.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Brian Hull on June 13, 2007
Format: Paperback
In an era where young people are leaving the church the second they leave most youth ministries, Mike's book does a masterful job of helping people move from program and event oriented ministry to real discipleship and connection with students. By focusing on the things of the heart this book not only helped me put words to what I am experiencing and feeling, but also is great asset in helping us remember that we are on the journey too. Mike's heart for connecting students to God comes through in this book!

I highly recommend this book to youth workers, first for themselves, second for their ministry and finally for those they will gift it to.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mike King Has written an amazing manifesto of presence-centered youth ministry in the post-modern, post-christian world we live in. Similar to Yaconelli's "Contemplative Youth Ministry" this book sets out to guide ministers away from programming gimmicks and the constant consumerism that has infected our churches; to turn resting in the presence of God and letting that be out starting and ending point. Youth don't need youth ministry or perfect programming, they need loving adults who are in love with Jesus: mentors and guides, fellow pilgrims who are passionate pursuers of God. It is out of our life centered in Christ that we don't give kids something we have, or even pass in on; rather we invite youth into the presence of God with us. We don't set out to give kids the right beliefs, rather we share ourselves and our journey, marked with honesty and weakness.

The message of this book is fresh and inspiring in the midst of shallow theology and churches content with the gospel of "moralistic therapeutic deism". We like our Christianity easy and safe, but the call of Christ is anything but that; he bids us come and die and find new life. Where it feels most of the evangelical churches fear the coming of post-modernity, Mike King sees this as an opportunity to embrace questions, doubts, traditions and family heirlooms we sometimes leave behind. Coming from a background similar to King's and having my college love be Young Life, I've yearned for a more holistic approach to the gospel and ministry. Presence-Centered youth ministry is a call to look back and look forward dreaming of God's coming reign, and delighting in God's very presence as our first priority.
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